“Based on what you’ve said and from the research I’ve done, your company is looking for an administrative assistant who is both strong in interpersonal skills and in tech skills. I believe my experience aligns and makes me a great fit. I’m an effective communicator who is skilled in giving oral presentations, speaking on the phone, and communicating via email. I’m also fluent in a number of relevant software programs, including content management systems and spreadsheet suites. I’d love to bring my diverse skill set to your company.”
Why It Works: The response makes a match between the requirements that the employer lists in the job posting and the candidate’s qualifications and skill set, showing the hiring manager why the applicant is a good fit for the job.
“You describe in the job listing that you’re looking for a special education assistant teacher with an abundance of patience and compassion. Having served as a tutor at a summer school for dyslexic children for the past two years, I’ve developed my ability to be extremely patient while still achieving academic gains with my students. My experience teaching phonics to children aged 6 to 18 has taught me strategies for working with children of all ages and abilities, always with a smile.”
Why It Works: With this response, the interviewee includes an anecdote to illustrate their qualifications. You’ll make a much stronger case by showing rather than telling.
Why It Works: The interviewer wants to know how you stand out among the other applicants. This response focuses on the qualities that are different from what other interviewees might offer, or are more difficult to find in candidates generally.
“I certainly can! Well, from what I’ve read on your company’s roadmap plans posted online, it sounds like you need a project manager who is capable of handling other departmental roles, as well. I couldn’t find a way to succinctly describe it on my resume, but during my internship at BioGenCo, I spent a month each on five different teams to get a handle on how the company functions as a whole. Now, with my supervisory experience where I’ve raised output by 32%, I believe I am well equipped to be the best project manager, while also being knowledgeable of the roles of other departments.”
[This example answer shows: enthusiasm, quantifiable achievements, company research, awareness of future needs]
“When I read the job posting, I noticed that you specifically mentioned you were looking for someone with a mid- or intermediate level of supervisory experience at your restaurant. Now, my resume may have told you that I have five years of restaurant management work history, during which I increased sales by 47% while cutting overhead. However, what my resume does not include are the various other roles in a restaurant that I’ve become familiar with. From the front-of-house positions, where I started as a waiter, to the back-of-house, I’ve gained knowledge of each and every important aspect of running a busy restaurant. I believe that this experience, coupled with my personable attitude and hard work ethic, is why I am a great candidate for the job.”
[This example answer shows: best candidacy, quantifiable achievements, and super-relevance]
“Oh wow, where do I begin! I have been an avid traveler since as young as I can remember. When I reached adulthood and started booking flights for myself, your airline would be my top choice. Alpha Airlines has always made long-distance travel a pleasure, and I would be honored to say that I work for you. On top of this, I believe that my patience and multitasking skills are second to none, and these would go a long way in helping me the best flight attendant possible.”
[This example answer shows: enthusiasm, mild flattery, company interest, relevance]
“This hiring process has been tough, so I’m certain that the candidates remaining give me stiff competition! Nonetheless, I am aware of your company’s desire to overhaul your entire IT team. As you have seen from my resume and cover letter, not only do my background and experience overlap with what you are looking for, but my additional skills as an IT technician for XYZ could be well-suited to help you expand further. Would you like me to go into more detail of what I had in mind?”
[This example answer shows: enthusiasm, company research, open-ended answer]
“Though I’m a recent university graduate, my coursework, major, and minor all coincide with this position. On top of that, I have gained some job experience relevant both during my previous internship and in the volunteer gig that I work, both of which you may remember mentioned in my resume. Finally, I have been crossing my fingers for this job specifically, because there would be no place I’d rather work!”
[This example answer shows: relevance, enthusiasm, flattery]
“I am relatively new to this town, having just moved here from the city about four months ago. Since I’ve been here, I’ve frequented this store a lot, for every occasion, and I’ve always been impressed by the friendly and helpful staff. If you allowed me the chance to prove myself, I am sure that I would be an excellent addition to your already-amazing staff. All this, along with my relevant work experience, is exactly why you should hire me!”
[This example answer shows: flattery, enthusiasm, relevance]
“Well, I’ve already sat down with some of the team at my last interview, during the group session, and I must say that I think we all hit it off quite nicely! They seem like just my kind of people, helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable, and I would love to be able to show you that I would fit in well. On top of those characteristics, I have several years of experience, which you have seen from my resume and cover letter, and I had some pretty proud achievements while there, such as my 17% reduction in wait time. If you give me a chance, I am certain that I won’t let you down!”
[This example answer shows: enthusiasm, knowledge of company values, quantifiable achievements]
“I believe that my resume speaks for itself when it comes to my relevant experience and skills. So, if you don’t mind, I’d like to answer this question by telling you about the traits and characteristics pertaining to me that I feel make me a good fit. I’ve always been a hard worker with a strong work ethic, and that has followed me from my time growing up on a farm, through graduating uni with honors, until now, where I went straight for the best in the game by applying here. I get along well on a team, and my previous internship experience quickly saw me into a supervisory role. Is there anything else I can touch on that would interest you or help you see that I’m the best candidate for this position?”
[This example answer shows: open-ended answer, confidence, relevance]
“As you can see from my cover letter and my resume, the majority of my work history has been as an IT consultant. This position has given me a good understanding of how business and technology cooperate and what challenges they face. I know from your job ad that you need someone who is friendly to handle new clients in your ever-growing tech firm, and I think that I am just the girl for this role! With my personable attitude and relevant technical background, I am confident that I would fit perfectly in this position you are offering.”
[This example answer shows: relevance, knowledge of company goals]
“I believe that my experience with technology, specifically in the web design space, makes me the best match for this position. In my previous job, I was responsible for maintaining and updating our company website. This required keeping employee profiles updated and continuously posting information regarding upcoming events. I truly enjoyed what I was doing, which is what drew me to this position with your company. I would love to bring the coding and content skills I learned there to this position.”
Explanation: By highlighting your experience with a particular skill that the position requires, describe in detail what that experience looks like and how you have used it previously. This gives the hiring manager the chance to see some of your work and determine if it fits what they are looking for in a candidate. If this is your strongest skill, don’t be afraid to say that in your interview.
“I’m glad you asked. You explained earlier that leadership qualities are a bonus for this position. In my 10 years of experience as a sales manager, I have effectively managed teams of over 15 people. I developed motivational skills that earned my region the “Region of the Year” five years in a row for consistently meeting and exceeding sales goals. I will bring those leadership abilities to this position. “
Explanation: Showing that you have “bonus” skills is a great way to separate yourself from the other candidates. If the hiring manager explicitly states that they are really looking for someone that also has certain skills, answering this question by showing you possess those skills will only strengthen your qualifications in the interviewer’s mind.
“The job listing states that you are looking for someone with patience and superior communication skills. While volunteering and holding an office for the Special Olympics, I learned how to be patient with the athletes and participants at our state’s Special Olympics. Coordinating the event helped me develop better communication and planning skills which are imperative when performing the responsibilities you described today. “
Explanation: When you don’t have a lot of experience in the industry you are applying to, you can use skills you learned while volunteering or in other aspects of your life to demonstrate how you are the best fit for this position.
“While I don’t know the experience of the other candidates, I can speak to the qualifications that make me the best fit for this position. After working in this same position with another organization for over eight years, I successfully managed a team of 12 in our marketing department where I was responsible for approving and managing budgets and developing creative campaigns. In fact, one campaign I oversaw generated a 14% increase in awareness among our target demographic. Now, I’m ready to spread my wings at a company of your size. “
Explanation: Setting up your response by immediately calling out your inability to respond directly to the experience of your competition gives you a look of transparency and earns you credibility with the interviewer. In addition to your experience, you can highlight why you are interested in this position with this company. This response demonstrates the candidate’s passion for the industry because, after eight years, they are still looking to do the same job, but in a larger capacity.
“As a recent college graduate, I know that what I’m lacking is career experience. However, the qualifications that I bring cannot be measured by traditional experience. After holding offices in four different organizations and managing a full course load with a job at the university’s admissions office, I learned how to multitask and prioritize responsibilities. In your fast-paced organization, the ability to effectively prioritize is a significant component of success.”
Explanation: By stating your lack of experience right off the bat, you can get that out of the way and focus on what you can bring to this position. Without a lot of direct skills and knowledge, highlighting soft skills like prioritization, communications or leadership can serve you well in the interview process. If this is an entry-level position, those soft skills will make you more appealing to the hiring manager.
“Over the years, I have acquired relevant skills and experience, which I shall bring to your organization. I have also worked tirelessly on my communication abilities and teamwork skills, which I will put to use in my future career, which would be in your organization if I am selected for the position. I have given my 100% effort in my past companies, and this has enabled me to recognize my capabilities and limitations. If I channelize them further, they will bring fruitful results to me and also to your esteemed organization.”
“Honestly, I possess all the skills and experience that you’re looking for. I’m pretty confident that I am the best candidate for this job role. It’s not just my background in the past projects, but also my people skills, which will be applicable in this position. On the other hand, I am a self-motivated person and I try to exceed my superior’s expectations with high-quality work. Being a fast learner, I quickly pick up business knowledge related to my project. Lastly, I would like to add that I work well both as an individual contributor and also as a team member. Collectively, all these skills put together makes me a complete package for this job.”
Few profile-wise customised answers:
A fresher’s answer to the question
“My academic records stand me apart from other job seekers. Having graduated from Hindu College, which is one of the premier colleges in the country, has exposed me to interaction and teamwork with students with high intellect and belonging to various cultures and backgrounds. Also, studying in this college gave me immense opportunities to delve in various extracurricular activities like Rotary Club, participation in Chess competitions and other activities such as dramatics, poetry and a few sports events too. Also, living in hostel premises made me a much stronger and an organized person with a wide network of friends and acquaintance. I believe that apart from a good academic background, these qualities go a long way in shaping personalities and creating efficient workforce.”
Sample answer for a software tester or test engineer or quality analyst
“Working as a Software Tester with reputed organisations like TCS and HCL Technologies has given me first hand experience of working in the field of testing. In my past career, I bagged several critical manual and automated software testing projects, which gave me a holistic view on the work front. I even got the opportunity to lead several projects for which I even got certificates. All in all, I have about 5 years of experience in the domain, which is an adequate time span for anyone to look forward to gaining an experience in people management in a reputed company. And for this, I look upto your organisation to give me a chance in my preferred domain.”
How possibly an academician cum trainer could answer this question
“My 4 years of involvement with the education industry has led to my intense understanding of the area. Being the Branch Manager of a play school, I got an opportunity to gain experience of the nitty-gritty of the business and emerge as a leader. I also got a platform to directly interact with the parents, children and the teachers, following which, I created a roadmap of the education trend we cumulatively envisaged to impart to our students, which I feel would be of huge benefit to your organization. I also looked after the financial management of the school which is an added benefit to my candidature. Playing the role of a mentor has made me capable of handling a situation with patience and perseverance, which also is an added virtue to my profile. My past experience and skills make me an ideal candidate for this position in your organization.”
An answer fit for a professional with around 5 years of experience
“I am a person with experience in varied types of writing. I have on my sleeves the expertise of writing for a news magazine, creating content for the web and editing of documents for the study abroad industry.I have been able to gain versatility in the sphere of writing and this definitely is a boon for my profile and a company like yours which values creativity. I have read your company’s blogs and they clearly resonate with my style of writing, which is very well apparent by the written test I have taken. Given my flair for creative writing and my intensive experience in the content industry, I feel that I am an apt candidate for this role.”
All the best!